Sara Trail

Executive Director

Sara Trail dedicates her art practice to social justice reform and created SJSA in efforts to engage students and activists across the United States who share a common vision of equity and justice. She uses art as a vehicle for motivation and awareness while providing people a platform to create activist art through fabric textiles.  She encourages people to become artivists [art + activist] and designs community social justice quilts as a tool for social critique and action. She hopes SJSA will start a conversation that sewing is not only an effective avenue for social activism, but also a creative form of resistance.


Claudia Tapia

Director of Community Outreach

Claudia Tapia is a teaching artist and educational researcher who currently attends the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her joy lies in working with youth, building community, and finding new and unique ways to grant marginalized populations access to education. She is excited to be the community outreach coordinator for SJSA and she believes every person has a unique story and it takes patience, care, and understanding to empower these individuals to be the best version of themselves they can be.

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Suzanne Schmidt

Director of Pedagogy

As Director of Pedagogy for SJSA, Suzanne Schmidt consults on teaching and learning strategies for SJSA workshops and public programs. She is a writer, professor, parent and active community member who teaches in the School of Liberal Arts at Saint Mary's College of California. Suzanne was a 2016-17 Citizenship Fellow at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and is a member of the Coordinating Committee of Rice and Beans Preschool Cooperative, a social justice preschool in Oakland, CA. She taught drop-in sewing/ESL classes at Southwest Youth and Family Services in Seattle, WA, while completing her Ph.D. in English literature (with a focus on craft!). 


Robin Gadient

Volunteer Coordinator

Robin Gadient is a mother, educator and poet who serves as the Creative Director for the Social Justice Sewing Academy. She was raised in Hawaii, which influenced her multi-cultural, inclusive and creative perspectives on social and racial justice. She graduated from the College of Creative Studies at University of California Santa Barbara and now resides in the Bay Area with her family. Robin intends to embrace her role with the passion and dedication needed to foster the growth and successes of the SJSA.